Breast Cancer


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Stay in touch with breast cancer news as we post a collection of the latest medical news and information regarding breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapies from sources around the internet …

Cleaning Chemicals & the Cancer Risk

Women with spic and span homes could be twice as likely to get breast cancer. A study found a potential link between the use of cleaning chemicals and breast cancer risk. We clean our house to keep it free from harmful contaminants. We normally equate clean with commercial cleaning products to take away dirt and filth not knowing its introducing toxic chemicals into our home. Cleaning chemicals may contribute to breast cancer because it contains mammary gland carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Breast cancer risks were twice likely to appear with women who use cleaning chemicals and air fresheners the most than those who use them least. Solid air freshener and mildew and mould control users were both associated with 70% increased risk. Results of this study suggest that the use of cleaning chemicals contributes to increased breast cancer risk.

Cleaning chemicals and air fresheners are of interest in breast cancer research because many ingredients contain endocrine disrupting compounds and mammary gland carcinogens in animals. Some compounds affect growth of estrogen –sensitive human breast cancer cells. Animals exposed to chemicals found in cleaning agents are observed to have mammary gland tumors. Mammary gland development in rats may affect tumor susceptibility. The laboratory studies gives evidence of widespread human exposure to cleaning chemicals containing mammary gland carcinogens may contribute to breast cancer in humans.

Cleaning chemicals that contributes to increase breast cancer risk are:

Alkylphenols – are found in detergents and other cleaning products. This chemical is an endocrine disruptor that alters mammary gland development in rats.

Synthetic musks – found in fabric softeners, detergents and air fresheners, prevents cells from blocking toxins in animal study.

Phthalates – found in air fresheners, household cleaners and plastics. Endocrine disruptor and may cause organ damage and cancer.

Formaldehyde – found in spray and wick deodorizers and air fresheners is a suspected carcinogen.

Terpenes – used in household cleaners and air fresheners with pine, lemon and orange scents. Terpenes produces toxic chemical substance similar to formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen.

PERC (perchloroethylene) a dry-cleaning chemical accumulates in body fat and remain in the body increase the risk of breast cancer.

1,4-dichlorobenzene – found in toilet bowl cleaners, air fresheners and other household cleaning products. This chemical damages the lungs and cause organ system toxicity.

Benzene – found in household cleaning products is a known human carcinogen and linked to increased blood diseases, leukemia and organ system toxicity.

Phenol – found in household detergents and mouthwash. This is toxic and linked to respiratory and circulatory system damage. Hypersensitive individuals can experience serious side effect at very low levels.

Styrene – found in many household cleaning products. This chemical is linked to cancer, organ system toxicity, problems with reproduction and birth or developmental defects.

NPE (Nonylphenol ethoxylates) found in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners. It’s a potent endocrine disrupter.

Butyl cellosolve – found in window cleaners and all-purpose cleaners may damage liver, kidneys, bone marrow and nervous system.

Triclosan – found in most antibacterial products. This chemical not only kills bacteria but human cells. This can affect thyroid hormones and metabolism.

Laboratory studies shows that many household cleaning chemicals contains toxins that increased breast cancer risk. Research is beginning to suggest just how exposure to cleaning chemicals can have a long-term health effects. Women in the cleaning services business particularly exposed to cleaning chemicals are at a greater risk for breast cancer.

Keep your home fresh and clean by using natural and eco-friendly cleaning products. Baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are natural cleansers we can use. Products endorsed by eco-green groups like Top green cleaning products are environmental friendly and safe to use. Using natural cleaning products reduces exposure to toxins found in household chemical cleaners, air fresheners and pesticides and lowers the risk of breast cancer.

Invasive breast cancers missed in risk-based screening in women in their forties
Published: 2 December 2014

A study in the University of California, San Francisco shows that risk-based screening based on family history and breast density would miss a significant percentage of invasive cancers and could potentially be dangerous. The study included 136 women between the ages of 40 and 49 with breast cancer identified by screening mammography between 1997 and 2012.

Dr. Bonnie Joe M.D Ph.D said “Notably, we found that almost 90 percent of the invasive cancers we would have missed using risk-based triage had positive receptor status, meaning they were very treatable and worth finding early.”

They found that a very strong family history was absent in 90% of patients, and extremely dense breast tissue was absent in 86%. Seventy-eight percent of patients had neither strong family history nor extremely dense breasts, including 79 percent of the cases of invasive disease.

The result show that by exclusively using a risk-based approach to screening mammography, we could potentially miss more than 75 percent of breast cancers in women in their 40s, thereby eliminating most of the survival benefit from screening mammography that has been previously shown in randomized controlled trials said Dr. Joe

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Breast Cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge launches cannabis-infused wine
Published: 10 October 2014

American rock singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 2004. She is a long-time proponent of cannabis reform and having survived breast cancer, she attributes her recovery to the use of the herb. She often touted the medicinal benefits of marijuana to help ease the side effects of chemotherapy like nausea and loss of appetite.

Etheridge said she want to give back to the medical marijuana community by launching a range of products made from cannabis, including cannabis-infused wine, aimed at people suffering from cancer. Being a cancer survivor she knows that patients who are suffering deserve access to a medication that can provide them relief.

The singer speaks about the importance of bringing medical marijuana to New York when she released her new album, entitled, This is M.E. She highly recommends cannabis for anyone who is suffering from the negative effects of cancer treatment, and that she hopes to soon bring her cannabis-infused wine to all medical marijuana states.

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Study shows: Total darkness at night key to success of breast cancer therapy
Published: 25 July 2014

A new study by Tulane University School of Medicine found that exposure to light at night shuts off nighttime production of the hormone melatonin and renders breast cancer completely resistant to a widely used breast cancer drug tamoxifen. This study is the first to show that melatonin is vital to the success of tamoxifen in treating breast cancer.

David Blask said that high melatonin levels at night put breast cancer cells to ‘sleep’ by turning off key growth mechanisms. These cells are vulnerable to tamoxifen. But when the lights are on and melatonin is suppressed, breast cancer cells ‘wake up’ and ignore tamoxifen.

The formation of tumors is significantly slowed or delayed by Melatonin. Tamoxifen also causes a dramatic regression of tumors in animals with either high nighttime levels of melatonin during complete darkness or that receiving melatonin supplementation during dim light at night exposure.

These findings have potentially enormous implications for women being treated with tamoxifen and also regularly exposed to light at night due to sleep problems, working night shifts or exposed to light from computer and TV screens. Light at night could be a new and serious risk factor for developing resistance to tamoxifen and other anticancer drugs. The study could make the use of melatonin in combination with tamoxifen, administered at the optimal time of day or night, standard treatment for breast cancer patients.

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Men can have Breast Cancer too
Published: 17 July 2014

Breast cancer is not exclusive to women although the proportion is small, man can have it too. The US Food and Drug Administration are now urging pharmaceutical companies to include men in breast cancer clinical trials.

“Men have historically been excluded from breast cancer trials, we are actively encouraging drug companies to include men in all breast cancer trials unless there is a valid scientific reason not to,” said Tatiana Prowell, a breast cancer scientific lead at the FDA’s Office of Haematology & Oncology Products.

Male breast cancer is about 100 times less common than women, that is why male breast cancer has attracted much less attention. “Male exclusion is particularly problematic at a time when many modern and promising breast cancer drugs are available only through trials,”said Marleen Meyers, an assistant professor specialising in breast cancer at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan.

Prowell also said that it is possible that successful treatments could differ between genders. Increased male enrolment in clinical trials might help redress the issue of awareness.

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‘Go dairy-free to beat cancer,’ says leading scientist Jane Plant
Published: 3 June 2014

Jane Plant a leading scientist who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, nearly lost all hope when the disease struck her for a fifth time in 1993. She says, the disease is inextricably linked to animal products.

Prof. Plant was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 42 and beaten breast cancer but five years later it returned with a vengeance. Prof Plant draws on her experiences working in China, where women have historically shown very low rates of breast cancer. She checked with senior academics and learned that Chinese women’s diets are low on animal protein.

She then cut down on all animal protein like meat, fish and eggs, immediately switched to a dairy-free diet while undergoing chemotherapy. Within 12 months she was in remission, and she lived cancer-free for another 18 years — convinced that her diet helped.

Beat Cancer, Prof Plant’s new book advocates eating more plant foods and less red meat, sugar, salt and fat, as well as regular exercise and reducing stress levels. All dairy products should be totally excluded from the diet, as to deny cancer cells the conditions they need to grow and spread.

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Newer Anti-Estrogen Treatment May Benefit Younger Breast Cancer Survivors
Published: 01 June 2014

A recent study found a new type of anti-oestrogen drug showing to work better than the oestrogen-blocking drug tamoxifen in averting recurrences of breast cancer in certain women.

Exemestane (Aromasin), which belongs to a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, reduced the relative risk of breast cancer recurrence by nearly a third compared to tamoxifen. But for this drug to work in premenopausal women, it can only be given when ovarian function is being suppressed.

Aromatase inhibitors such as exemestane work by preventing other hormones from changing into estrogen (the female hormone that often fuels breast cancer growth). By comparison, tamoxifen blocks oestrogen from being used by cancer cells.

According to Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, Tamoxifen has been the default standard of care for premenopausal women as aromatase inhibitors are ineffective in women whose ovaries are functioning. The amount of oestrogen in their bodies is too great for it to have a beneficial function.

Doctors wondered whether aromatase inhibitors could be used to better protect young women against breast cancer if their ovary function was suppressed, essentially putting them through menopause and reducing their oestrogen levels. To answer that question, a study was done to analyze treatment outcomes of almost 4,700 breast cancer survivors which showed that reported side effects were similar to those in previous studies that compared aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen in postmenopausal women – they only differed depending on the drug.

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Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer Can Safely Receive Bisphosphonates Less Frequently without Compromising Care
Published: 30 May 2014

Women with metastatic breast cancer to the bone may be able to receive bisphosphonates, the bone-targeting class of drugs like zoledronic acid, less often after the first year of monthly administration. With that practice change, women may also reduce their risk of serious side effects, according to a study and research of Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD, professor, Breast Medical Oncology.

The study found that receiving zoledronic acid every 12 weeks after one year of monthly administration was as effective as continuing to receive it monthly. The study also determined that giving the therapy less often after a year of earlier treatment was non-inferior than receiving the therapy monthly, and they also learned that less frequency is likely associated with a reduced toxicity.

Findings from the OPTIMIZE-2 study could have an impact not just in the setting of metastatic breast cancer, but other solid tumors, as well as multiple myeloma, where monthly intravenous bisphosphonates are used to prevent skeletal related events and the loss of bone mass.

According to the American Cancer Society, 232,670 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and 40,000 will die from the disease. The overwhelming majority of metastatic breast cancer patients will develop a bone metastasis at some point during their care, says Hortobagyi.

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Nick Greiner: I Had Mastectomy After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Published: 30 April 2014

Cancer Council Australia has called for greater awareness of breast cancer in men, following Nick Greiner’s revelation that he was recently diagnosed.

The former New South Wales premier revealed he had breast cancer. Greiner discovered the cancer after finding a red dot on his shirt. He said talking about his cancer helped him through the difficult period. Greiner had a mastectomy to remove the cancer and the operation was successful.

The former premier has been receiving praises for speaking out. Someone as prominent as he is talking about it helps raise great awareness and will help educate men about the risks.

Breast cancer statistics from Cancer Council NSW shows rates of breast cancer in men are far lower than in women and amount to less than 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses in Australia. There’s about 13,000 women diagnosed each year and only about 100 men.

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